“At the start of a new year, we like to count our blessings. This agency, and the caring and dedicated staff who help some very vulnerable members of our community, are a blessing to society, and I know they’re a great addition to our OPSEU/NUPGE family." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Warren (Smokey) Thomas
“We congratulate our OPSEU/NUPGE organizers for this historic organizing victory. We know that one of the best ways to stop the scourge of income inequality, and the growth of unfair low-waged jobs, is to increase and improve the rights and power of precarious workers to organize and bargain collectively.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
“We work in volatile and violent workplaces. We find that giving back to the community is an effective means to cope with the daily stress we face. This outreach keeps us focused on the reason we do what we do every day.” — Chris Jackel, OPSEU's correctional bargaining chair
“It’s great that St. Lawrence students will get improved libraries, but it makes no sense that the college is robbing them of the expert guidance they need in order to get the most out of them.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“Faculty are the real leaders trying to improve the college system, and I am immensely proud that we stood up for fairness for all faculty and a higher quality of education for our students.” — JP Hornick, Chair of the OPSEU college faculty bargaining team
"They’ve chosen OPSEU/NUPGE because it’s the union best equipped to defend and advance the interests of mental health workers who, in turn, give their all to equip vulnerable individuals with the means to participate fully in the community." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
"I am confident that, when those ballots are counted, we will find that part-time college support staff have entrusted our union with the responsibility of improving their lives at work.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“I am absolutely delighted that the Liberal caucus listened to what our OPSEU/NUPGE leadership team in the ministry had to say. Any time we protect the integrity of the OHSA is a win for workers.” — Len Elliott, Regional Vice-President of OPSEU for southwestern Ontario and MOL inspector
“What’s the point of having your diagnosis covered, if you can’t afford the medication you need? The lack of access to medically necessary medicines is not only a major gap in our system, it is contrary to the very principle of medicare for all.” — Sara Labelle, OPSEU, Hospital Professionals Division
“This just shows what faculty have been saying all along: college administrators are making decisions about academic programs that they are not qualified to make.” — JP Hornick, OPSEU/NUPGE
Thomas said it was “ironic, but not funny” that the government had passed Bill 148, which improves certain labour standards, “just a few days after it had walked all over the Charter rights of more than 12,000 workers.”
“When working people . . . say what they need, they have the power to get it. Bill 148 is a significant step forward for workers’ rights, and I think every union, community group, and individual who helped make it happen should take a bow.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“With cooperation from Council at the bargaining table I believe we can settle this strike in short order.” — JP Hornick, OPSEU's Chair of the faculty bargaining team
“If the minister can tell the colleges how to spend the money they’ve saved, she can tell them how to bargain fairly as well. I encourage her to do so this weekend.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“College presidents should get back to the bargaining table and settle this strike now before they do any more damage to a college system that students and our economy depend on.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Condolences go out to Stiles' family, friends and colleagues.
“Negotiation is the only way to go at this juncture. I agree completely with recent statements by the Premier and by Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews that the solution to this strike is at the bargaining table.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Supporters of public services will rally outside a major privatization conference on November 6 to highlight a new poll showing that more than two-thirds of Ontarians want to keep their public services public.
This group of LifeLabs professionals is the first in Ontario to be unionized.
“The funding that has been allocated so far has not gone to acute care adult mental health programs. We’ve got higher acuity on wards than ever, and that is creating violent situations. In our workplaces, there is a violent act each and every day." Ed Arvelin, Chair of OPSEU's Mental Health Division